Alumni Sharing Knowledge > Volunteer >
How can I connect with more students?
Here are some suggestions to increase your visibility to students:
- Complete your profile. Students and alumni self-select mentors by searching for keywords in the ASK directory. Review your profile to make sure that it's fully completed, especially work history, skills, extracurricular activities and education.
- Attend events. Many mentorships start by meeting in-person at one of our events. Considering joining our monthly ASK breakfast or Career Center events.
- Offer a practice interview. Some students are reluctant to seek a career mentor through the directory but might be more inclined to sign up for a practice job interview. If you have an hour to spare, share with us your availability and we'll promote it to the students.
- Write an article for our blog. We are always looking for great articles from ASK mentors. You can describe a lesson you learned when you were a student or what your career is like. ASK mentors who reside outside of Illinois can also write about relocation and what it's like to live in your area.
What makes a great ASK mentor?
- Listen first before sharing. Understand your mentee's needs and their priorities at the moment. There may be many things to discuss but it is important to focus on what your mentee is asking for your help in.
- Let your mentees own the next step. Give options to your mentees rather than telling them what to do. Enlighten the path but let them choose the next step. They are more likely to follow through.
- Be willing to address teachable moments. When your mentees make a mistake, let them know. You might be the first one to tell them that they're doing it wrong. If you're not comfortable bringing it up or need help in how to approach it, contact the ASK Program Director for suggestions on the next step.
- Encourage continued conversation. Long-term mentoring often happens when the mentee feels that their continued outreach is welcomed. At the end of your conversation, invite them to stay in touch. If you know that they have a project or an interview or a decision that they are making soon, follow up and inquire what happened. This opens many doors to follow up mentoring conversations. It will also teach them what proper follow up and relationship building means.
- Model professional behavior. Students can learn from you what professional behavior looks like. Show them through your writing what a business correspondence looks like. Show them the importance of honoring one's commitment and appointments and limit rescheduling or running late. If you cannot honor your commitment, show them what it's like to accept responsibility and apologize gracefully.
- Know your limitations. We don't expect you to be able to answer all of your mentees questions. Be willing to admit when you don't know the answer. Whenever needed, use resources at DePaul and we're happy to help.
Apart from one-on-one mentoring, how else can I help my mentees?
- Introduce your mentees to each other. In addition to helping them expand their network, you can also save time by staying in touch with all your mentees at the same time.
- Invite your mentees to industry events. Help them build their network and meet other professionals in your field.
- Share articles that cover the topics that you discussed. This helps reinforce the discussion and may open new conversation topics.
- Ask them how their studies are coming along. There might be a school assignment or project that you might be able to provide valuable insights on.
- Offer encouragement. During midterms and final exam time, send a quick "hello" and "good luck" and maybe a study tip to help boost their confidence. If you know that they are preparing for an interview, send a quick line of encouragement and interview prep tip. A kind word can make a difference.